Although I said I was going to write about the Sacred Heart of Jesus last week, life got in the way and had to focus on purchasing a new vehicle for our family. In the end, we ended up buying a Honda Odyssey and nicknamed her – Immaculata.
This past Friday and Saturday, the Church celebrated two important feasts in the liturgical cycle – the Sacred of Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Many Catholics have strong and devout devotions to these particular titles for Our Lord and Our Lady. I would like to briefly share some information about both of these feasts with you today.
First, let’s quickly summarize the Sacred Heart of Jesus –
The visions of Christ and the devotion of the Sacred Heart of Jesus began with St. Margaret Mary Alacoque around the year 1671, and continued in the subsequent years. During the apparitions, Our Lord asked that she would spread devotion to his Sacred Heart, the devotion of First Fridays, and the practice of making Holy Hours before the Blessed Sacrament.
In the visions, Our Lord promised to her that those who consecrate themselves to his Sacred Heart would receive graces necessary in their state of life, many blessings and comfort, and peace in their homes. Those who receive Holy Communion for nine consecutive First Fridays would be given grace of final perseverance and will find refuge at the moment of death through the Sacred Heart.
In 1765, many years after the apparitions, Pope Clement XIII officially approved the devotion of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Since I am combing both of these feasts into one article and don’t want to make it too lengthy, I would encourage you to read the article by Kathy Schiffer at the National Catholic Register on the Sacred Heart of Jesus to learn some important details.
Now, let’s turn our attention to the Immaculate Heart of Mary –
It’s a devotion similar to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, but with less fervor. St. John Eudes, who is also a “Saint of the Sacred Heart”, helped popularize this devotion during his lifetime.
The devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary became very popular after the apparitions at Rue du Bac where St. Catherine Labouré had visions of the Blessed Mother. The devotion to the “Miraculous Medal” developed from this same apparition. A society loyal to the Immaculate Heart of Mary began in Paris during the year of 1836 at the Church of Our Lady of Victories and then spread throughout the Church and the world.
The devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary also grew in popularity after the appearance of Our Lady in Fatima. The difference between the devotions is that with the Sacred Heart, it focuses on the love that Jesus has for all of mankind. The Immaculate Heart of Mary focuses on the way that we should love the heart of God. Her immaculate heart, because she was conceived without sin, is an example of all of us who are striving to have a full and complete relationship with Jesus Christ. Honoring Mary’s immaculate heart is just another way of honoring her, who in turns always leads us to closer to Christ.
The purpose of the devotion is to lead mankind through Mary’s heart to God. This practice happens through consecration and reparation. This method leads us to closer to the Sacred Heart through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The act of consecration is directed towards God, but the act of the will is made through Mary. Mary’s role is always subordinate to that of Jesus. To learn more about the Marian Consecration, I would encourage you to read this article I wrote a few years back. I would also encourage you to check out the Consecrations to both the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary in the following article.
Sacred Heart of Jesus…Pray for Us
Immaculate Heart of Mary…Pray for Us